JP Onnela Hosts White House Chief Data Scientist, DJ Patil

It was our distinct honor to welcome Dr. DJ Patil, The White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist, to the School on Friday for an informal and interactive meeting hosted and moderated by our own Dr. JP Onnela.

Joined by a diverse group of students and faculty, Dr. Onnela kicked off the meeting with a brief overview of some of his ongoing research before sitting down with Dr. Patil to discuss the role of open data, reproducibility of scientific results, and the role of technology in generating new types of data.

Dr. Patil provided fascinating insight into the Obama Administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and participants were able to present questions to the nation’s first Chief Data Scientist.  When asked about the most important quality a data scientist should possess, Dr. Patil replied with one word –“tenacity” and an unwavering desire to solve a problem.  He also relayed his philosophy of “celebrating failure” – that the lessons we learn through our mistakes and missteps are what lead us from experience to wisdom.

We would like to express our appreciation to Dr. Patil for taking the time to visit the School for an exciting and educational afternoon.